What are Trinity Grade exams?

What are Trinity Grade exams ?

Our graded music exams offer the choice and flexibility to allow candidates to play to their strengths, enabling them to gain recognition for their own unique skills as performers.

Our music exams:

  • Recognise that a flexible approach is best, prioritising candidates’ individual needs
  • Offer freedom of choice within assessments, enabling candidates to demonstrate their musicianship in the way that suits them best
  • Assess real-life skills that translate naturally from real music-making to the assessment
  • Assess skills that are specific to each discipline – the opposite of a one-size-fits-all assessment
  • Allow candidates to express their whole musical personalities through options to demonstrate creativity in different ways
  • Use diagnostic mark schemes where appropriate, offering precise and specific feedback to inform continued learning

Exam structure

Performance is at the heart of Trinity’s graded music assessments as we believe that musicianship is most effectively demonstrated through practical performance.

  • Assessments are strongly performance based
  • Grade exams assess practical performance across repertoire, technical work and supporting tests
  • No theory prerequisites are required for any of Trinity’s performance-based assessments

Trinity College London practical graded exams are numbered from 1 to 8 in increasing order of difficulty. In many subjects, an Initial exam acts as an introduction to the exam system.

Candidates perform three (or sometimes four) pieces, and technical work featuring scales and arpeggios, exercises or orchestral extracts. They also choose two supporting tests from a selection including sight reading, aural, musical knowledge and improvising.